Planning and Procuring

With so many factors to consider when migrating to a new integration engine, the planning and procuring stage can undoubtedly present a daunting challenge. In order to ensure the engine is able to meet both present and future needs, careful considerations must be made before signing the dotted line.

Creating the Plan to Procure the Right Solution

Finding the right engine for a healthcare organisation can only be done once a migration plan that has been tailored to the needs of the organisation has been created. This plan must go beyond simply creating a checklist, it must also take into consideration timelines, technical requirements, and scope of the project.

Timeframes and implementation phases help align the vendor with the needs of the organisation. This can’t be done without first determining the full scope of the project. For instance, the project may be narrow, and limited to replacing the products being sunsetted, or broader, with the goal of improving or creating new interfaces. The scope is also dependent on how many interfaces need to be implemented and what kind of expertise will be required. Once the scope has been determined, the plan should reflect an overview of the system’s technical requirements. The plan should overview which systems need to be connected, messaging standards, performance metrics and other key technical determinations.

Once a plan has been developed, then the procuring process can begin. Before meeting with various vendors and reviewing their engines, an organisation must develop evaluation criteria that reflect the needs of the plan. It must also list and differentiate between the ‘must haves’ and ‘nice to haves’ of elements of their ideal future engine.

There’s also the relationship with the vendor to consider. It will be a long relationship and the organisation must ensure that the vendor will support the team through each phase of migration and the integration needs afterwards. The organisation needs to find out of the vendor will charge to support certain features, what kind of training and client support it offers and how long the support will last. The organisation must ask themselves: will this vendor be a partner or salesperson? With these things in mind, an organisation can narrow the choices to find the best match for their needs.

The Mackenzie Challenge

In Canada, Mackenzie Health had to contend with a very tight timeframe when planning for and procuring an integration engine to implement their new Clinical Information System (CIS). In one month they needed to install an integration engine with high availability, train their staff, and develop their first three production interfaces. 

Selection criteria for their integration engine included adherence to modern healthcare data standards, leveraging their staff members’ existing programming language training and selecting a vendor that was local to the Toronto area with the capability and willingness to complete work on an aggressive timeline. 

Mackenzie Health chose the Rhapsody Integration Engine because of its support for all versions of HL7, including the new FHIR standard, and because it uses an easy-to-use drag and drop user interface to build configurations. Furthermore, more advanced configurations require only JavaScript and some SQL knowledge with Rhapsody, which the Mackenzie staff already had at an advanced level.

In the end, the implementation team at Orion Health was able to complete user training, install Rhapsody in a high availability configuration, and build three production interfaces within three weeks. Orion Health was able to meet Mackenzie Health’s tight timeframe of less than a month to have the Rhapsody Integration Engine up and running in production with their staff equipped to build the interfaces they need to grow with their new CIS system.

With Rhapsody Integration Engine, clients can install the engine in a few minutes, complete training in a few days and in a few weeks be promoting interfaces into production. In mature installations, the Rhapsody Integration Engine can process as many as 3,500 messages per second, making it a highly reliable and performant solution for Healthcare IT practitioners to rely on.

Once an organisation has Planned for and Procured their new integration engine, it must then look to Prepare and Implement it. Subscribe to our blogs to be notified when the next migration steps are published.

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